Legally reviewed by:
Setareh Law
May 18, 2023

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. In addition to the physical pain and emotional stress, you may also be left with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. If you have been injured in an accident in California, you are likely wondering how much compensation you can receive for your case. 

At Setareh Law, we understand how daunting this process can be and are here to help. In this article, we will explore the various elements that are considered when determining the value of a car accident claim in California, as well as why it is important to consult with a personal injury law firm to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Key Factors That Determine Compensation After an Accident

As the insurance company and lawyer go over the evidence of your case, they consider several factors to determine the compensation you should receive. Here are some of the most important factors:

Liability and Negligence

California follows a comparative negligence rule, meaning that each party’s responsibility for the accident is taken into account, and the amount of compensation you can receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, if you are found to be 10% responsible for the accident, you will only be able to receive 90% of the total value of the claim. This is because you are considered to have contributed to your own damages. If you are found to have been more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may not be able to recover any damages.

The Severity of the Claim

The severity of your injuries and the associated medical expenses are major factors that contribute to the value of your car accident claim. More severe injuries typically result in higher compensation, as they often require extensive medical treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation. Additionally, future medical expenses may need to be considered if your injuries require ongoing care. 

Your Ability to Return to Work

If your injuries have forced you to miss work or have otherwise impacted your ability to earn a living, these losses can also be factored into the value of your car accident claim. This may include both past lost wages and future lost earning capacity if your injuries will affect your ability to work in the long term. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you calculate and substantiate these losses to ensure they are included in your compensation.

Pain and Suffering

California law allows car accident victims to seek compensation for their pain and suffering, which includes both physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident. However, quantifying pain and suffering can be challenging, as it is highly subjective and varies from person to person. Therefore, your lawyer can use their experience and knowledge of California law to effectively present your pain and suffering, maximizing the value of your claim.

Insurance Policy Limits and the Defendant’s Financial Resources

Finally, the amount of compensation you can receive for your car accident claim can be influenced by the limits of the at-fault party’s insurance policy and their financial resources. While it is possible to pursue a claim against an individual’s personal assets, collecting compensation in this manner can be more difficult and time-consuming. An experienced lawyer will help you navigate these issues and negotiate with insurance companies.

Underlying Factors That Can Affect Your Compensation

In addition to the primary elements discussed above, there are several underlying factors that can have an impact on the value of your car accident claim in California. These factors may not be immediately apparent but can be crucial in determining the final compensation you receive.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

These pre-existing medical conditions could potentially lower the value of your claim. Your lawyer will help you address this issue by working with medical experts to differentiate between your pre-existing conditions and the injuries sustained in the accident, ensuring that you receive appropriate compensation for the latter.

Comparative Negligence

As mentioned earlier, California follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that your compensation may be reduced if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident. Your lawyer will work diligently to gather evidence and present a strong case on your behalf, minimizing your percentage of fault and protecting the value of your claim.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the legal time limit within which you must file a personal injury claim. In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Failing to file within this time frame can result in the complete loss of your right to seek compensation.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Setareh Law Today

While it is possible to pursue a car accident claim on your own, it is highly recommended that you seek legal representation to maximize the value of your case. By trying to handle such a complex process on your own, you run the risk of underestimating the value of your claim or missing out on important compensation. 

At Setareh Law, our experienced car accident lawyers understand the complexities of California law and have the knowledge and resources to ensure that you receive the full compensation you are entitled to. We are committed to obtaining the maximum compensation for our clients and have a proven track record of success in car accident cases. Contact us online or call us at (310) 659-1826 today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case and learn more about how we may be able to help. Our team speaks both English and Spanish.